Gene Simmons once asked Stan Lee if he could play The Thing in a Fantastic Four movie.
Gene Simmons may be known for his role in the band KISS and his weirdly long tongue, but at one point, he wanted to be known for being a hero too — specifically, The Thing, aka Ben Grimm from the Fantastic Four. In an interview with ComicBook.com, Simmons revealed that back in the 1980s, he wanted to be The Thing so bad that he wrote a letter to Stan Lee asking if he could play the big orange rocky guy in an upcoming Fantastic Four film Marvel was working on at the time. Stan Lee, ever the gentleman, called Simmons back personally with a gentle “no.”
While Gene Simmons asking Stan Lee to play a major Marvel character in a movie might seem pretty out of the blue, his band KISS actually had a pretty buddy-buddy relationship with the comic book giant back in the day. The band appeared in an issue of Howard the Duck, and then KISS would get their own series of Marvel comics shortly after.
In the end, it’s probably for the best that Simmons didn’t get his crack at playing the character, and Stan Lee probably made the right call.
Gene Simmons may have missed out on his Fantastic Four dreams, but it seems his love of comics hasn’t gone anywhere. The reason Simmons was doing the interview with ComicBook.com was for his upcoming comic book series Dominatrix published by Opus Comics. The first issue of his new series is set to come out this summer and is written by Holly Interlandi with art by S. L. Galant and Maria Keane.
Gene Simmons’ comments about the casting of the Thing in a Fantastic Four movie come at a serendipitous time because Marvel just so happens to be bringing the Fantastic Four back to the big screen for their MCU debut. At this time, the role of Ben Grimm has yet to be officially cast. Even if Simmons was interested, which he apparently isn’t according to the interview, hopefully, Kevin Feige would make the same wise decision that Stan Lee made many years ago.
While it’s almost a certainty that we won’t be seeing Gene Simmons in the MCU’s Fantastic Four, there are plenty of rumors about who we will be seeing. The strongest rumors indicate that Adam Driver will be playing the role of Reed Richards, aka Mr. Fantastic, and Margot Robbie has been offered the role of Sue Storm, aka the Invisible Woman. As for the other two members of the team, the rumors indicate that Paul Mescal may be playing Johnny Storm/Human Torch, and Daveed Diggs will be playing Ben Grimm/The Thing.
Although Gene Simmons won’t be living out his Fantastic Four dreams, at least he would be able to take solace in the fact that a fellow musician nabbed the role if Daveed Diggs gets it. Daveed Diggs’ breakout role was in the musical Hamilton, but before that, he was best known for being a part of the hip-hop group Clipping. As for Simmons’ comic book future, you can check out his new series Dominatrix when it hits shelves on July 5.